My Dear Friends,

If you have not already, you will soon hear and see the signs, sights, and sounds of Christmas. And I am writing this ten days before Thanksgiving!

I don’t think I would get much disagreement if I said that the celebration of Christmas has in too many cases become a secular event. Yes, we still have Baby Jesus and such, but the radical invasion of God Almighty into the world of humanity is never really explored or highlighted.

Ok, there is my complaint. Now, hear my suggestion of a cure. It is contained in one word: Advent.  

Advent, in the Christian liturgical calendar, is the four week period leading up to Christmas. This year Advent begins on Sunday, December 1, and concludes on Tuesday, December 24. The liturgical color for advent is blue or purple, and you may recall that our Advent observance includes lighting the Advent candles each Sunday.

These weeks are critical to our proper understanding of and preparation for the coming of Christ as Saviour of the world. Special liturgies and sermons will hopefully be signposts to guide us along the way to Christmas.

In a culture that demands instant gratification, we are going against the popular tide in terms of delaying the gratification of Christmas. But, believe me, it will be worth the slower and more thoughtful pace of each of the Sundays of Advent.

So, turn over a new leaf if you must . . . and I am sure you can find a few in your yard at this time of year . . . and let’s “do” Christmas a little differently this year. Each Sunday, 8:45 and 11 am. See you there!

Meanwhile, may you have a most blessed Advent!